Leeds IMC 2016, 4-6 July: Session on "Food, Feasting and the Flesh: Between Conflict and Communion"
This session welcomes proposals that consider the various ways in which writers have explored the paradoxical notions engendered in the consumption of food in social and religious contexts in the Middle Ages.
Throughout human history, food and feasting have been sources both of rivalry and solidarity. Whereas, on the one hand, the instinctive necessity to survive has pitted person against person in the search for food, the sharing of meals has also been an occasion for co-operation and interaction. While feasting may be an occasion for rejoicing and sharing, an opportunity for friends and family to gather together, it also inevitably draws distinctions between the included and excluded, and poses questions of priority and hierarchy.
In the context of Christianity, the Incarnation of the second person of the Trinity, who offers his flesh and blood on the Cross and inaugurates the Eucharist as a commemoration of that sacrifice, provides an entirely new paradigm for the consumption of food, a food that transforms the body into itself rather than being transformed by it, introducing those who consume it into the communion that is the very life of the Trinity; flesh that becomes the food of eternal life, not the source of corruption and death.
Hence, we welcome papers that explore the significances of food, feasting, and flesh in medieval texts, focusing on how these texts deal with the issues of conflict and communion. Please send a brief CV and an abstract to firstname.lastname@example.org before May 30th, 2015.